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Old 01-03-2004, 16:26:47   #1
Vincent
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If you liked Diablo try Sacred

http://www.ascaron.com/gb/gb_sacred/index.html

At least SP ist quite fun.
I bought it and it's OK. It's very close to D2. Has some flaws and some pros, but in general D2 is the far better balanced game. A lot of parts are stolen and the story line and quests are a little cheesy.
On the other hand there are some points I like, especially the way magic/special moves work and some of the character classes. The map system is better than D2, a cute landscape "Commandos" style
Oh, the MP didn't work, let's wait for a patch..
Anyway, a good game to waste some time until D3 comes out.
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Old 03-03-2004, 14:03:52   #2
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Is SP fun?
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Old 03-03-2004, 16:38:58   #3
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Originally posted by Vincent
At least SP ist quite fun.
Ist? Are you German?
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Old 04-03-2004, 07:11:36   #4
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No, but the game is
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Old 23-03-2004, 20:44:21   #5
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Is SP fun?
Only his mother knows that...
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:42:25   #6
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Got the demo, it looks great!

Vince, what are the balance problems you alluded to?
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:05:03   #7
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Here's one: I kinda got stuck when I tried to continue the main quest. I didn't want to restore an old savegame because I found a cool axe. I had to fight my way through evil orc hordes, and when I got killed I was at a starting point far away from a city, in the center or orcish territory. I had no more potions. So after 1.5 hours I managed to sneak back to a city.

A similar situation was the fight against some ice giants in the monastery of the seraphim. I wasn't quite ready for it, so it took a while and a lot of spell casting/wait for reloading of that spell.

It's really hard to improve a skill sometimes if you don't find the right runes (you have to do it by trading runes 4 to 1). I now play a character that developed well, because I found a lot of cool runes. But that was luck. The first character found so many "useless" runes I abandoned him.

Fighting a dragon was VERY hard with a seraphim. I tried 30 times. With a dark elf I used the confusion trap and it was so easy, the dragon attacked the minions, I could concentrate my attacks on the dragon.

Later in the first game I found a big axe, a REALLY superior weapon. Until that the game was very hard (IIRC my best weapon did a damage of 150-300) . When I found the axe (Damge 350-650) it was quite easy. I never found a weapon of that league before.

I also never found a complete set of items worth and the items are usually not worth keeping it. In DS: Legends of Aranna the locations of set items were fixed, they were quite useful actually and I kept some until the end of the game.

Sometimes you have to return to a place with easy opponents. It's a little annoying (my character even said "the opponents are no match for me here"). In another game I found a sword that killed all opponents with a level -3 or something like that. That was cool, they all dropped dead when I was walking back.
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:11:37   #8
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On the other hand I never got really stuck. It took some time and was annoying to fight through the situations, but it was also challenging.

Maybe some of the problems got fixed with a patch. There are also some minor quests I can't complete, but it doesn't matter since it doesn't stop the main quest
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:02:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent
That was cool, they all dropped dead when I was walking back.
change deo
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:32:11   #10
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That would be 'radiant aura' skill?
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:38:07   #11
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http://eng.sacred-game.com/index.php

Clearly, they haven't just thrown this out to let it sink or swim based on the release code. For Happiness!
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:12:21   #12
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what if we didn't like Diablo?
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:34:08   #13
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Depends why you didn't like Diablo.

Sacred has a much more atmospheric game world, similar to the original Baldur's Gate. The start of the game is also much less linear, and you aren't being pushed along by the sheer 'epicness' of it.

If, in general, you didn't like Diablo because you want RPGs where you mostly talk instead of fight, then you'll hate sacred just as much.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:36:24   #14
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I like a balanced mix
baldur, and the last jedi (both unsurprisingly by the same maker) are still my models
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:36:35   #15
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That's my feeling from the demo, anyway. Vincent de German is the only one who has played it yet. I wish I knew what it was like for a game to be released in my country before anywhere else in the world... der welt, I mean.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:38:36   #16
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It's not as story driven as Baldur's Gate, for sure. Nor are there the quality party interactions from all reports. I'd say it's definitely more on the Blizzard (original, mind) side of the field than Bioware.
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:28:47   #17
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Vincent is not the only one here who has played it.

I bought it about a month ago, played it a lot for about two weeks and haven't touched it since. The first time through in single player was a blast but after that motivation to keep playing was quickly fading. Big part of that was probably because the MP part is just really, really, really pathetic. It'll take 5 more patches and about 10 times the server capacity Ascaron has now to make it playable. I can't believe they've released 4 patches already without implementing a trade window. But hey, not that it matters though ... the items are boring and you can buy all the best stuff in shops anyway.

And I don't want to get started about all the bugs. It's no coincidence there are 4 patches already. And as far as I can see they didn't really fix that much. In fact they probably introduced more new bugs than they fixed. Six weeks after release there are still lots and lots of really *bad* ones and even more little ones. Not too mention that you often really notice how sloppy this game was programmed. I have a good machine but I get slowdowns in situations I really shouldn't get any. In fact in MP I often get slowdowns in periodic intervalls, even if I simply keep standing at the same spot.

To sum things up, if you get this game to run (lots of people seem to have problems even with that) you'll have good fun the first time through. Maybe even the second time, with a different character class. Don't expect much after that. Sacred still has an infinite number of big and small problems that'll really drive you crazy, especially if you're mad enough to try to play MP. Just read the official forums and see what other people have to say.

Sacred got really good reviews from a big number of gaming magazines and online sites, but I don't really see why. Personally, I have given up on it for now. I may try MP again in a couple of months though.

P.S.: Sacred is about 10% more story driven than Diablo 2. Don't expect much in that regard.
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Old 06-04-2004, 12:03:30   #18
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Thanks Mtree.

So is it stupid but savable? Apparently I'm not likely to see a copy here for at least another couple of weeks, which makes the patching slightly better for me...
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Old 06-04-2004, 17:39:31   #19
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Sacred definitely does have potential. I may have said I don't agree with the ratings it got, but even those must have come from somewhere. And it's a Diablo clone, so it can't really be bad. Sacred does few things better and a lots worse than D2, but it's still good fun if you're looking for a different Action-RPG. If you don't get easily frustrated and can look past the bugs and sloppy programming, even MP won't be that bad.

In fact the biggest frustration for me in MP doesn't really come from its numerous bugs, but from the way questing is handled. Just like in Diablo you have to complete the game in a certain difficulty in order to reach the next one. The problem starts with the fact that you can't create games yourself, but instead you select to join a server with a limited capacity of players (just like in Neverwinter Nights). Only the player who joined the server first will be able to save its quest status. So if you're not that first player, you won't get any questing done unless you play through the game in one session. You can imagine that together with the still limited server capacity that system is really frustrating. It frequently happened to my MP characters that they were level 40 but hadn't had any quests done.

I should probably also mention that MP is impossible to play at peak times (that is 18:00 - 00:00 during the week and everytime at the weekend), but since you're from NZ that shouldn't really be that much of a problem.
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Old 06-04-2004, 18:38:04   #20
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I think the combos are quite cool and the idea of the runes is nice (but there should be a way to trade runes for experience points and vice versa or something like that) . The character classes are nice.

I didn't try MP, it's hard to beat D2 in MP I think. Anyway, I think SP is amusing
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Old 06-04-2004, 18:50:49   #21
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And the sound is really cool

"Schniepel!"
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Old 07-04-2004, 06:26:50   #22
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I made a combo in the demo - Attack + Hard Hit. Very very fun - killed the minotaur on the west side of the town with one click.

Axes are great in this game.
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Old 07-04-2004, 07:33:04   #23
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This is what someone on DII.net wrote, very negative when compared to Diablo II:

Quote:
1) Bugs: Sacred's closed "a.net" is a horrific experience. It isn't just lag and issues related to popularity. The code is so buggy there have been problems like: people seeing other characters as stick figures (yes, stick figures), frequent character save file corruption, unsolveable quests, and more.

Perhaps worst of all, in Sacred's closed play you cannot create your own games. Ascaron creates a certain number of games and that's it. You either join a game in progress or you don't play. Furthermore, since there are no level restrictions on games, you can join a game as a level 5 player and it can be filled with level 80 players. Players of that level are common since there are so many exploitable bugs that there are already people level 120+.

Or even worse, sometimes you cannot even find a game that doesn't have pretty much everything good wiped out. It is VERY lame.

Sacred's single player and open multi player are also buggy as hell. Quests break FREQUENTLY. I would estimate that about 30% of the quests I attempted would break when it came time to complete them. Horses (which are supposedly one of the key features of the game) are coded so badly they are virtually worthless. Dismounting is buggy and often doesn't work until the 6th time you click the dismount button (all the while, you're getting whaled on) and in multiplayer sometimes your horse breaks so badly that you cannot even use it until you reboot the game.

2) Gameplay: Sacred's gameplay is shallow and limited. Each class has 15-20 abilities but that is deceptive. Generally, 3 or 4 of them (at least) are generic abilities that are shared with numerous classes (hard hit, multi hit, attack, and a few others). There is no mana but instead every ability has a recharge time (you use it once and then you cannot use it for another X seconds). This is the case even for melee abilities. You can create "combos" which are basically just macros that allow you to use an ability 2 to 4 times in a row. After that, the combo/macro has a regen time of 1-2 minutes.

Worst of all, you start with 1 ability hot key and you gain more as you level up. You max out at 5 hotkeys. Yes, that's right- just 5 hot keys. Since you have to use combos if you ever hope to win a battle, you are basically looking at never being able to have more than 2 or 3 abilities hotkeyed (2 or 3 hotkeyed not as a combo, and then 2 or 3 combos).

This makes being a mage with 20 spells pretty darn useless since most of them you cannot conveniently use at all.

It also doesn't have a "quick menu" for abilities so you cannot use them that way either.

While I'm talking about the hotkeys, they are also non configurable. Your ability hotkeys are HARDCODED to 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. IMHO those are very inconvenient buttons to hit with your left hand since your left hand also needs to be hitting TAB (for the map) and ALT (for items) just like in Diablo 2.

I could go on but I'm already getting pretty verbose.

Sacred was created by a German company called Ascaron. They are total n00bs and it showed. I would go into some of the exceptionally sleazy and deceitful things Ascaron has already done but that would make this post even more of a novel.

All in all, Sacred is Yet Another Crappy Attempted Diablo Clone. It is amazing to me that so many people in the world love to rag on D2 for being "simplistic" and yet nobody can seem to rip it off to make anything even 1/100th as good.

The final thing I will mention is this:

Playing Sacred for a few days is what made me decide to re-install D2 after having not played it for 6-12 months.

I'm having a BLAST with D2 and will be uninstalling Sacred and selling it back shortly.

I'd say that right there speaks volumes about Sacred.

I could go on listing all the unbelieveably painful flaws with Sacred but hopefully you get the picture. It is a sloppily made game that is not even very fun when it DOES work.
I haven't gone near Sacred yet, and if this is a general concensus, I probably won't. I would be interested in hearing about fixes or disagreements with this guy's impressions.
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Old 07-04-2004, 09:26:23   #24
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I will write something in response to this when I get home from university in a couple of hours. I'm obviously a bit disappointed with Sacred too, but IMO that guy totally focuses on the wrong issues. Most things he brings up are either minor or no problems at all in my eyes.
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Old 07-04-2004, 12:42:04   #25
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I think Rach and I are looking at Sacred as a good single player game that will eventually have workable multiplayer.

Certainly, Ascaron aren't working from the Blizzard situation of having had a previous game of the year in WarcraftII to support their development, and the game world even from just the demo is hugely richer than Diablo2.

So their web coder are noobs. Hell, I actually can't recall anyone complaining about Diablo2 because of the multiplayer code aspects. Shallow, repetitive, imbalanced and generally bad looking were the complaints. The FREE closed servers on Bnet were utterly fantastic and always acknowledged as such.
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Old 07-04-2004, 12:57:16   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mightytree
but IMO that guy totally focuses on the wrong issues
Let's say he's an idiot. It's NOT Diablo and so some things are DIFFERENT. And SP Diablo isn't that cool, the levels are VERY repitative
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Old 08-04-2004, 06:43:55   #27
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When it came out, the original Diablo was nothing short of fantastic, though. The code might be fucked up now, but I get a similar feeling from playing the Sacred demo. That means something.
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Old 08-04-2004, 15:56:00   #28
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Quote:
Bugs: Sacred's closed "a.net" is a horrific experience. It isn't just lag and issues related to popularity. The code is so buggy there have been problems like: people seeing other characters as stick figures (yes, stick figures), frequent character save file corruption, unsolveable quests, and more.

Perhaps worst of all, in Sacred's closed play you cannot create your own games. Ascaron creates a certain number of games and that's it. You either join a game in progress or you don't play. Furthermore, since there are no level restrictions on games, you can join a game as a level 5 player and it can be filled with level 80 players. Players of that level are common since there are so many exploitable bugs that there are already people level 120+.

Or even worse, sometimes you cannot even find a game that doesn't have pretty much everything good wiped out. It is VERY lame.

Sacred's single player and open multi player are also buggy as hell. Quests break FREQUENTLY. I would estimate that about 30% of the quests I attempted would break when it came time to complete them. Horses (which are supposedly one of the key features of the game) are coded so badly they are virtually worthless. Dismounting is buggy and often doesn't work until the 6th time you click the dismount button (all the while, you're getting whaled on) and in multiplayer sometimes your horse breaks so badly that you cannot even use it until you reboot the game.
Right: A.net is indeed a horrific experience. But most issues are related to either Ascaron having too few servers at the moment (like the cannot create own games issue, AFAIK that'll eventually be fixed) or the way quests are implemented in MP. He's right that quests do indeed break frequently in MP, especially if someone who didn't join the server first tries to do them.

Wrong: Stick figures, haven't really seen that yet. But I know Ascaron have built in MP-cheat protection that may cause weird affects, including possibly this one. Character save file corruption has been fixed AFAIK. The level 5 character joining a game with all level 80s is bullshit. Theoretically it's possible, but why would a high level character enter a low difficulty game? It doesn't make sense. The exploitable bugs that make you level quickly he mentions are fixed. In fact people are now complaining that there's too little exp in MP (and actually they're right). Also, once MP is running more stable and most bugs are fixed there will be a character reset. Ascaron have already announced that. Entering a game where everything has been wiped out is not possible. Monsters respawn. Single player is not buggy as hell, haven't had problems with it at all. Horses aren't a key feature of the game. Once again, that's bullshit. Yes, they *are* buggy and more annoying than useful, but nobody forces you to ride one. I didn't.


Quote:
2) Gameplay: Sacred's gameplay is shallow and limited. Each class has 15-20 abilities but that is deceptive. Generally, 3 or 4 of them (at least) are generic abilities that are shared with numerous classes (hard hit, multi hit, attack, and a few others). There is no mana but instead every ability has a recharge time (you use it once and then you cannot use it for another X seconds). This is the case even for melee abilities. You can create "combos" which are basically just macros that allow you to use an ability 2 to 4 times in a row. After that, the combo/macro has a regen time of 1-2 minutes.

Worst of all, you start with 1 ability hot key and you gain more as you level up. You max out at 5 hotkeys. Yes, that's right- just 5 hot keys. Since you have to use combos if you ever hope to win a battle, you are basically looking at never being able to have more than 2 or 3 abilities hotkeyed (2 or 3 hotkeyed not as a combo, and then 2 or 3 combos).

This makes being a mage with 20 spells pretty darn useless since most of them you cannot conveniently use at all.

It also doesn't have a "quick menu" for abilities so you cannot use them that way either.

While I'm talking about the hotkeys, they are also non configurable. Your ability hotkeys are HARDCODED to 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. IMHO those are very inconvenient buttons to hit with your left hand since your left hand also needs to be hitting TAB (for the map) and ALT (for items) just like in Diablo 2.
Right: I've tried very hard but I cannot agree with any of this.

Wrong: Uh, actually, he's not really wrong about what he says here. He'll just have to accept the fact that Sacred isn't Diablo and that it works differently, as Vincent already said. If each class has 15-20 abilities and 3-4 are generic, that leaves 11-16 class dependant ones. So? Is that supposed to be an argument against the game? Yes, there are recharge times and there are combos, and they work as they work. What's the point? It's Sacred, not Diablo. Hotkeys: No character will ever need more than 5 of them, not even Battlemages because they have to specialize in a school and a couple of spells if they want to be efficient. Yes, they are hardcoded. Diablo 2's hotkeys were also hardcoded to F1-F8 for a long time. In fact if I still played D2 I'd still use the F keys over any other ones because I'm used to using them. Needless to say I have absolitely no problem with the hotkeys in Sacred. If that guy does, then he sucks worse than OW.

Quote:
I could go on but I'm already getting pretty verbose.
Agreed.

Quote:
Sacred was created by a German company called Ascaron. They are total n00bs and it showed. I would go into some of the exceptionally sleazy and deceitful things Ascaron has already done but that would make this post even more of a novel.

All in all, Sacred is Yet Another Crappy Attempted Diablo Clone. It is amazing to me that so many people in the world love to rag on D2 for being "simplistic" and yet nobody can seem to rip it off to make anything even 1/100th as good.

The final thing I will mention is this:

Playing Sacred for a few days is what made me decide to re-install D2 after having not played it for 6-12 months.

I'm having a BLAST with D2 and will be uninstalling Sacred and selling it back shortly.

I'd say that right there speaks volumes about Sacred.

I could go on listing all the unbelieveably painful flaws with Sacred but hopefully you get the picture. It is a sloppily made game that is not even very fun when it DOES work.
I'm gonna make this short. I too have my problems with Sacred. It's very, very far from being on the same level as D2. Mainly not really because it was sloppily implemented, but because some things were already badly designed. The implementation can be fixed with time, but the design can't and won't be. I've read today on the official forums that there are no plans to change the way saving your quest status in MP is handled (i.e. only the host can). And that's a major MINUS for the future of this game.

But as far as that guy is concerned ...

He's a moron. He probably feels right at home in Battle.net. Don't listen to him.
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Old 08-04-2004, 17:49:24   #29
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I think it's funny that the guy says "All in all, Sacred is Yet Another Crappy Attempted Diablo Clone." but complains about the things that are different
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Old 08-04-2004, 17:57:56   #30
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Originally posted by Shining1
When it came out, the original Diablo was nothing short of fantastic, though. The code might be fucked up now, but I get a similar feeling from playing the Sacred demo. That means something.
I agree. Maybe Sacred 2 will be a great game.

I like the concept of the map. You can go everywhere (if you are ready to fight the opponents). It has a Ultima feel (not the game itself, but the world)

I think the idea of recharging the special moves and spells has a certain charme.

The horse is quite usefill when you want to evade battles. I don't use them much, but there are situations (say you ran out of potions) where they are helpful. In general they're just a gimmick, but I think they're cute. I agree it's a missed opportunity. It would have been a great idea to use them as battlehorses with some more equipment only to be used when on a horse. Trying to become a knight would have been cool. Along with some special knight quests ...
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Old 09-04-2004, 01:50:55   #31
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The horsies are really cute!!!

I love the combo moves, and not using mana is absolutely fantastic. Both things could be improved, for instance putting a geometric scale on four move combos so that whatever you put in it, it doesn't end up taking two and a half minutes to recharge.

Very disappointed to hear that they won't be fixing the MP issue with quests not saving for players who join the game. That's majorly fucked.

Very good point about the whole knight thing, Vince. I was already sizing up spears and combat skills you could use from the back of the horse for a specific character build... doesn't really look feasible, however. The game mentions the wood elf doesn't ever have to dismount to use her abilities - anyone played with that class yet?

Certainly, it's a good idea to support it to the hilt so that there will be a Sacred 2, and they can improve on a very sound basic design.
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Old 09-04-2004, 02:50:01   #32
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Very disappointed to hear that they won't be fixing the MP issue with quests not saving for players who join the game. That's majorly fucked.
Your quest status doesn't get loaded or saved automatically when you enter or exit the server, even if you're the host. You have to explicitely tell the game to make or load a savegame. That's done exactly like in single-player. If you're not the host the 'load' and 'save' buttons will be greyed-out and be unaccessible. So actually it's not even an issue or a problem. It's like that by design .

Now, once the host leaves, another of the remaining players in the game will become the host and will be able to save the game. There are still a couple of (obvious) problems with that though:

1. You shouldn't have to wait for other people to be able to save your game. What are you gonna do if you've only got an hour of time to play and the host won't leave? Nobody in their right mind will leave a game as host if it's not absolutely necessary, so even being nice and asking the guy to leave won't help.
2. There's no guarantee that *you* will be the next host once the original one has left.
3. Even if you become the host and save another character's quest status as yours, there's a good chance some quest will be broken, as already said in a previous post.

It's frustrating. That's just really bad design.

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Very good point about the whole knight thing, Vince. I was already sizing up spears and combat skills you could use from the back of the horse for a specific character build... doesn't really look feasible, however. The game mentions the wood elf doesn't ever have to dismount to use her abilities - anyone played with that class yet?
I have. Playing a wood-elf it's important that you a) are very mobile, b) precise with your movements and therefore c) feel comfortable with the controls. Unfortunately the horse-controls feel very clumsy and unprecise, at least to me, so I don't think wood-ef + horse is a viable option.
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Old 09-04-2004, 03:40:53   #33
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Well that sucks...
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Old 09-04-2004, 11:43:00   #34
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And you can't use multi-hit (an essential wood elf skill) on horseback.
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Old 24-04-2004, 15:04:52   #35
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Well, we've got it, and we've both been playing it all day (in between chores).

Very very similar feel to playing the old Diablo. Cool real time hack and slash with an intriguing storyline that moves slightly too slowly, and fun with itamz.

Haven't bothered to try MPing yet, we're still enjoying the single player game. (Rachel's a wood elf, I'm a Seraphim.)

Bugs aplenty, most noticably broken subquests and ###EMPTY###, but no game killing stuff. And I haven't patched it yet.
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Old 24-04-2004, 15:25:35   #36
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I've just noticed that the ability to enter a certain difficulty in MP only depends on your character level now. Completing any quests is not necessary. I can't really decide if that's a good thing or not.

Sacred is a lot of fun in the first two to three weeks. After that I lost interest very quickly. Once you've completed it once or twice, it's simply lacking something that'd make you want to start it up again.
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Old 25-04-2004, 01:48:24   #37
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I can see that might be the case, yeah.
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Old 28-04-2004, 11:31:51   #38
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It is a lot of fun for the first two or three weeks.
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Old 02-05-2004, 13:42:00   #39
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Well that was an absolutely 'schneipel' ending...
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Old 02-05-2004, 15:09:10   #40
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oha
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